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#OtvOPINIONS: What’s so important about Obasanjo’s Watch?



Any value-free study on the character and life of
chief Olusegun Obasanjo, must observe that he was
a child of destiny when it comes to power and state
rule. Becoming politically savvy on assumption of
power , OBJ made many strenuous efforts to build a
cult of personality around himself.His waxen wings did mount above his reach and
melting, heavens conspired his overthrow! Hence
his failure to join his African friends in the
bandwagon of political seattightism. Obasanjo first
hogged the spotlight of Nigerian government after
the overthrow of Gen. Yakubu Gowon ‘s
government. He was appointed the chief of staff
supreme headquarters – next in command to the
head of state.
When the head of state – Gen.Murtala Muhammed
– was assassinated in the Dimka’s failed coup of
February 13, 1976 , he was unanimously chosen to
succeed him. According to Obasanjo, the choosing
was against his will. Obasanjo’s military
administration was not a smooth match on the field
of praetorian Orthodoxy but an excursus on civic
soldiering. It was an administration set up to
oversee the complete implementations of
Muhammed’s laudable programmes. But OBJ must
be OBJ , so he did the implementations in his own
For concise political analyses on how
water pass
garri ‘ in Obasanjo’s military administration, I enjoin
you to listen to Fela’s International Thief Thief (ITT),
Coffin for the head of state and army arrangement.
Fela was in fact the only person that knew Obasanjo
very well. In the wake of return to the civil rule in
1999, Obasanjo was chosen to be the flag bearer of
the newly formed People’s Democratic Party(PDP).
The choice was to placate the Yorubas over the
Abiola’s phenomenon. On being elected president
after many years of military interregnum,
Obasanjo’s historic task was – as Adebayo Williams
put it – to lay the ghost of old Nigeria. But
contrarily, Obasanjo who would have been the
Atatürk or Mandela of modern Nigeria decided to
sacrifice his historic mission on the alter of
highhandedness, selfish interests, seat tightism and
cult of personality. His failure is not my problem ,
but why is Obasanjo still talking ? Why do he takes
delight in overheating the polity? I thought they said
that people that lived in glass house do not throw
stones? A consideration on Obasanjo’s watch will
OBJ’s Watch : Management of Executive arm of
Arm Obasanjo’s management of federal executive
council was similar to his management of supreme
military council. The only difference here is one that
exist between Agbada and Khaki – the character
remained the same. His Morbid obsession to power
was exposed by his feud with his deputy- Alahaji
Atiku Abubakar. In a balant disregard to rule of law,
he surprisingly declared the office of vice president
vacant. Where it not the intervention of judiciary, he
would have appoint another person for the task.
His making and unmaking of ministers and allies
can only be compare to the Borgia’s papacy.
Obasanjo was not just the Nigerian president but
also the petroleum minister. The fact that Obasanjo
created the Economic and Financial Crime
Commission (EFCC) to fight his political foes is a
story a primary school pupil will tell you well.
Obasanjo’s administration when compare to present
day Goodluck Jonathan in the areas of management
of Executive arm of government shows that the
latter is far more preferable to the former. So
what’s so important about Obasanjo’s watch?
OBJ’s Watch: Executive-legislature Relationship.
Immobilism is a term used to described a political
paralysis that usually engulfed a state where there
exist no cordial relationship between the executive
and legislative arms. This term arguably defined
Obasanjo’s eight year rule. Under Obasanjo’s
watch, the executivelegislature gridlock took a life of
notoriety such that the House of Senate witnessed
in space of four years(1999-2003) emergence of
three senate presidents and a total five senate
presidents in his eight year rule.
In the House of Representatives, Obasanjo gave no
breathing space to then speaker Ghali Na’ Abba
who succeeded his boy and certificate forger –
Salius Buhari. Na’Abba excaped Obasanjo’s snare
but paid the price of losing his gubernatorial
ambition. The situation was so bad that even those
he eventually engineered their ascendancy fell out
of favour and faced his scheming and
meddlesomeness once they decide to assert their
authority and independence required for them to
function in their office.
Judging from the foregoing, do Obasanjo have the
moral compass to criticized Goodluck Jonathan? If
no , what’s important about Obasanjo’s Watch ?
OBJ’s Watch: A Study Of The Judiciary. Under
Obasanjo’s watch, judiciary was nothing other than
a toothless bulldog. Every unpalatable judgements
meted against him and/ or his allies were
considered null and void. It was Obasanjo’s
awkward relationship with judiciary that aptly
illustrate that his administration was military in
blood and agbada in cloth. Under Obasanjo’s
watch , Judiciary was subjugated and forced into
being the appendage of the executive arm. For
Obasanjo and his allies, rejection of judgement is
the best answer to any recalcitrant judge! So why is
Obasabjo still talking? Obj’s watch : State-Federal
The difference between Federal and unitary system
of government lies on the relationship between the
center and the component units. Whereas
component units are coordinates( meaning that they
are independent in certain spheres) in federal
system in unitary parlance, they are subordinates
(meaning that they are appendage of the central
government). For Obasanjo,this is a grammar
meant for political science students and definitely
not for him.
So he had to sponsor impeachment and/ or
abduction of governors that he considered enemy.
Dr Chris Ngige of Anambra state and Rashidi Ladoja
of Oyo state will be in better position to tell you what
federal interference in state matters denote. So
what so important about Obj’s watch? Obj’s watch:
a look at Election. Under Obasanjo’s watch, election
was nothing to write home about. Rigging and other
forms of electoral mal practices snowballed into
nauseating rate. Election under Obj’s regime was
Iwu’s affairs – Iwuism is another word for blatant
So what’s so important about Obasanjo’s watch?
Obasanjo’s watch was a political season that
conjures up nebulous shades of corruption and
political shenaniganism .The regime ought not to be
remembered, for its best place is the dustbin of
history. Obasanjo should know that his book (My
Watch)has done -and will do – nothing to rewrite his
failures in government. It is so appalling that the
most corrupt and failed politician Nigeria has ever
produced is one disturbing her peace. There exist
many evidences to tame his arrogance and I wonder
who the government is waiting for?

Article Written by: Jonathan Asikason and earlier published on Opinions.ng

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